Focus on your breathing
Breathing techniques can help warm you up even more than blowing warm air on your hands. There’s a Tibetan practice called vase breathing that’s said to raise body temperature, but you may need to work on it, and use it in combination with visualization and meditation. “Breathing into the vase is part of the g-tummo practice of Indo-Tibetan yogis,” explains Laura Sticks, a naturopathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist in Ontario, Canada. “It’s a sacred practice, and research so far has confirmed the effectiveness of the breathing technique in raising body temperature, but it’s not clear exactly how it’s done.” He explains that vase breathing involves holding your breath and contracting your abdominal and pelvic muscles. But there is a secret to it. The main thing is to make the protruding belly into a pot-like shape. Additionally, she says, practicing visualization while doing this can also help. Imagine that your body is filled with warm energy. A 2013 study in PLoS One showed that without imaging, people can only “breathe into a force-breathing jar for a limited period of time, resulting in a temperature increase within the normal body temperature range.” If you want to learn more, check out this YouTube video on vase breathing.
Combine smart ways
Layers trap heat and prevent sweating (which makes you feel colder). The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes the importance of layering clothing to stay safe in cold weather. They recommend wearing at least three layers of loose clothing for optimal insulation. Specifically, it means wearing an inner layer of wool, silk, or synthetic materials, such as thermal pants. It retains moisture from the body. Second, wear a mid-layer made of wool or synthetic material. It acts as an insulator when wet. Finally, wear an outer layer to protect against wind and rain, and ventilate. Resist the urge to pack your clothes tightly. They reduce circulation, which is necessary to keep your feet warm. Be sure to add a Covid-19 winter mask to your ensemble this year.
Fold the blanket carefully
For a cozy bed, use plenty of blankets to help trap heat. As with dressing in layers, this concept works the same way. Start with a flannel sheet. Then place your heaviest comforter on the bottom and layer a thin, dense blanket on top. If your bed is against an exterior wall in your home, pull it a few inches toward the center of the room on colder days. If you’re older, you’re more likely to lose body heat faster than you were when you were younger, according to the National Institute on Aging. Therefore, it is recommended to cover your feet with a blanket and wear socks and slippers. It is also recommended to wear long underwear under pajamas and have an extra cover when sleeping.
Eat fatty foods
If you plan to be outdoors for long periods of time, fuel your body’s internal furnace by eating. And don’t worry about the calories – it just needs to warm you up. “Every time we eat, our bodies generate more heat,” Stix explains. “Studies show that the biggest factor that determines the thermogenic effect of a food is its caloric content. With that in mind, the richest source of calories is fat, which provides 9 calories per gram of fat, while a gram of protein or carbohydrates only provides 4 calories.”